tv This Week in Northern California PBS April 7, 2013 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT
at some of the events. what was the purpose of the president's trip in. >> the purpose was money. this was the president's first trip since re-election. the san francisco bay area and atm. he was doing a favor to nancy pelosi to come into san francisco to pick up $3.25 million in two events in one night. >> not bad. >> he wants to win back 17 seats. president obama told both these groups, boy, we want to have nancy pelosi back as speaker of the house. i know you have an agenda for me. climate control. you want me to do that, give nancy the seat back. in some cases, they paid $42,000 to dine with the president. he is always a star, but he also got a lot of pressure from the left. the keystone xl pipeline is a
big deal to environmentalists in the bay area. one of them is a billionaire. president obama visited him first. they talked about the environment. i interviewed him this week. he said climate change is the issue of our time. i don't know if he pressed the president on it. >> and a billionaire environmental activist. he has been active on the keystone xl pipeline issue. >> that is right. this is important to environmentalists. they say this is the top thing president obama promised about his re-election. it will be number one or close to it. they need to hold him to it. tom is interesting. he is talked about already as somebody who might run for governor in california. he has already put $37 million of his own money in two ballot measures here. environmental ballot measures.
this is a guy to watch. obama came to his home. overlooking the golden gate bridge. he went to the getty home. a climate change. anti-fossil fuel change. he went to getty. as in getty oil. >> he is at all of these beautiful mansions. >> look, you know, when you talk about any kind of presidential candidate. the republicans cannot say that. when it comes to politics, it is location. >> it is this. obama was going to change things. he was going to be the people's person and all that stuff. when he comes to california and many other places, does he rarely go out to talk to the people. that starts to grate on people after a while. this is a big money game. does he get that people don't like that?
>> tom, i think you are right. i think the bay area more than any other location in the country, obama just comes here for money. when was the last time we saw him do a public event here? i can't even remember, frankly. >> think about this past week. a perfect example for san francisco residents. when obama visits, you get a traffic jam. you have to reroute yourself. it would be nice if he came out and addressed people in the bay area. this area voted for him in a big way. >> immigration -- we should have 1,000 demonstrators. the president, i got to ride in the motorcade. it goes by pretty fast. it is not like he gets to see them a lot. they did get a lot of press. it is an important issue. we're coming up to obama is being pressured. he is in a vice on this one. he has to decide and he is the
guy that will decide. he is between labor that wants this pipeline and environmentalists. many of them are right here in the bay area. they will pressure him and going to this side of the pipeline. >> he was standing in front of the crowd with one of the people pressuring him with tom stiner. >> it is interesting. he was trying to walk this fine line saying -- >> he didn't say much about it. >> he never mentioned the "k" word keystone at either event. he said he understands climate change is important to you. i get it. the politics are tough. that is why you need to give nancy pelosi the speaker back. >> we could talk more about that. let's move to the south bay. there is a race heating up. congress member mike honda is now getting possibly some serious heat. >> and honda is at the events, by the way, making sure that people knew obama has endorsed him. this race in the south bay, the
congressional district 17 in silicon valley is potentially a battle royale. it is young tech versus old traditional democrat. labor versus silicon valley. and an indian-american, ro khanna, who is 36, which is a rising clout in silicon valley against mike honda, who is japanese-american and very popular with the api community. asian pacific islanders. honda, he is a very traditional democrat. he has the democratic establishment. you have ro khanna who is a democrat. worked for the obama administration. knows how to do a social campaign. >> a sharp guy who has already hired a lot of the obama campaign stars and has already amassed $1.2 million from some of the stars of silicon valley.
this is all about silicon valley and all about the future. we will see this real interesting, i think, knockdown drag-out fight. >> that will be a good one to watch. carla, thank you. >> the bay bridge continues to make news. a state board moves one step closer to suspend or revoke the license of the pilot of the tanker that swiped the bridge in january. three weeks after steel bolts snapped, still no clearan answe on the cause or solution. tom, what did the state board do in this case? >> they are pushing forward the idea of suspending or revoking his license. it is not a done deal. if it becomes a done deal, he will still have an opportunity to go in front of an administrative law judge who has the power to reject anything of what the board may or may not do. this is a work in progress.
they said this is a guy who understood he was in a margin marginalized situation. he did not communicate well with the crew that were responding to his orders and all of that. in his defense, the beacon he would have gone out which is to say the wider area on the bridge, that beacon was out. they went to a less wide area closer to ybi. the currents are tricky. i have been out several times looking at the ship. so, they hit the bridge. the bottom line of this is it is still very much a work in progress. this guy does have other dings against his license, two of which were his fault. a third was not. >> he actually lost his license once. >> i don't think it is hopeless for him. what you are seeing is a change in the way we're dealing with this. you asked earlier what about changes in the law.
they doubled the minimum distance from a quarter mile to a half mile. if you don't have half mile visibility, don't ask. once you get under way, you have to call the vessel traffic service on your radio and tell them where you are and take guidance. these are all new rules in the wake of what happened. >> how rare is it for a bar pilot to have his license suspended or revoked? >> it is rare, but not unheard of. many of the things that happened we don't hear about. for example, he hit a dock in stockton. he had some problems there. it is not a very common thing of t t the. these are professional people. they have captain experience. this is not somebody who happened to get the job. >> when you have the potential for damage. we have seen it now a couple of times. >> i talked to an engineer who told me, he said in two cases,
these things glance off a bumper and you see the damage. if they would have hit head on, you could have severe damage to the bridge. >> speaking of damage to the bridge, let's talk about the bolts that snapped. now has caltrans made any progress in determining what caused it? >> i can tell you next week they are supposed to release the test results on the bolts that failed. we will see that. in about a week after that, we will see what is a proposed fix and leading candidate for a fix is a collar system around where these bolts went up to hold the thing in the same place. now, there was some talk that maybe the bolts that have yet to be tightened down that can be removed and maybe replaced with new bolts, but that is a work in progress. as to the cost, the cost was initially determined to be $1 million. i talked to a number of engineers. these are people that won't
necessarily speak publicly because they don't want to lose business with caltrans. they don't have that many bridges to be built. >> what do they think of the $1 million? >> they think it is utter nonsen nonsense. you have to have a new team redesign and you have to put it in front of a peer group for review. you have to do that. you have to then do some design testing on a computer. you have to fabricate this thing and test of the final thing and then mount it on the bridge. if that sounds like $1 million to you, then i have property just in the north part of the bay you would be very interested in. >> quickly. i know you have been watching the case of the shell refinery. >> the people have decided they have done all of the repairs they need to do to start operations. while many things are under appeal and many things yet to be
done, they feel it is safe enough to start operations anytime now. chevron will do it within the next few weeks or days. a lot of environmentalists say it is nonsense. this is riddled with corrosion. >> you will keep on watching that. tom, thank you. palo alto-based tesla motors is announcing it is profitable for the first time in the ten-year history. then a second announcement of a financing program for leasing. david, how significant are these developments for tesla and the bay area as a whole? >> the first is very significant. the second one is not quite as much. tesla is going out on a limb here. they did not release full financial results for the quarter. they will do that a bit later. they came out right after the quarter closed and said we finally made a profit by any way they measure it. they are ten years old. a lot of people are saying when
will they get to profitability. it is one thing to get to profitability if you are a ten-year-old software company. it is one thing if you are rebuilding a factory. it is a lot harder to get there. this is a huge milestone. the financing thing, they were hoping to ride a little wave of publicity of that. they hyped it up. it was a big super secret announcement they would make. basically they underwhelmed a lot of people as soon as they made it. the stock went out when they announced it. if you watch the after hours trading after the leasing announcement on tuesday, it just started drifting downward. >> david, tesla has been a political football. you know, republicans love to compare it to solyndra and they still do. is it fair? it did get government assistance. is it out of the woods? still it is still not a loser.
it is not a solyndra. >> no, it is not a solyndra. in terms of whether it is out of the woods. you would want to see several years of solid profitability before you say something like that. still, they have much, much farther than a lot of people thought they would. you know, there is a comparison you can make here because there is another california car company that got the same kind of loan as tesla. not as big, but similar kind of loan. they announced this morning -- >> are you talking about fisker? >> this morning they laid off almost their entire staff. cut it down to 40 people. they reportedly brought in a company that is a law firm that specializes in bankruptcy proceedings. they are trying to get a couple of chinese companies to buy them out. they have not been able to make a car so far this year because the battery supplier declared bankruptcy. they had 300 finished cars on the dock in new jersey that were
brought over from the factory in finland and got wiped out from hurricane sandy. everything for them has gone wrong. you look at them and they're in a serious world of hurt right now. you look at tesla and it looks like tesla is going to survive. >> the big difference seems to be for tesla and established electric car companies and i'm talking about nissan with the leaf and other things. there is finally a real market for the cars. people are actually willing to spend $60,000 for a model s. people are willing to spend $30,000 for the smaller cars in enough numbers which makes sense. that wasn't true when we were talking about who killed the electric car. you had a bunch of expensive test models. >> it is not a huge market, but it is a market. it is a weird market. you mentioned the leaf and volt. tesla actually sold more cars in the first quarter of the year than gm sold of the volt or
nissan sold of the leaf. that is amazing. tesla, this past weekend, announced they would stop or they would not make the cheapest version of the model s car that they planned to make when it would be $60,000. they decided not to do it because 4% of the people placing orders for the model s actually wanted the cheap one. they wanted the more expensive one. they have turned into the northern california status symbol of choice. it is a weird market to figure out. >> maybe a turn around. you think that financing option they have will make a difference? >> actually, no, i don't. you still have to pay a lot per month. some people on the fence may go for it. >> that is why wall street wasn't very happy. david, thanks. next, actor and san francisco native danny glover, executive producer of "the house i live in" coming to pbs.
it is a look at the so-called war on drugs. it won the grand jury prize at the sundance festival. he spoke with kqed's joshua johnson. first a clip from "the house i live in." >> it's absolutely true that drugs have destroyed lives. that heroin and cocaine, for example, do nothing to engender individual dignity. while covering the drug war as a journalist for more than a decade, i came to understand what drugs haven't destroyed the war against them has. >> danny glover, welcome. >> thank you. >> what about the idea of doing a documentary specifically on the war of drugs appealed to you? >> it is an issue we never talk about. specifically what is happening in our neighborhoods, cities, you know, urban areas in this country. we know that there is a direct
correlation to the war on drugs and the increase in prison incarceration in this country. particularly among black and young black and young hispanic kids. that whole term of from the cradle to prison is a real term that happens in our communities for hundreds and thousands of young kids. the question about the war on drugs and it is important for us to understand what it means and what supposedly the intended consequences and what were the unintended consequences with the war on drugs. >> how many people here are involved in drugs? >> i'm in here for selling drugs. >> i killed a guy back in 1984. >> how did that happen? >> dope and out of my head. i wound up shooting a guy in the mouth and killed him. >> i saw a lot that i recognized of where i grew up. i'm from south florida.
i saw a lot of streets and neighborhoods that rang true to me. i wonder how much of it rang true to you. you grew up in public housing in san francisco. >> i grew up until i was 11 years old. i lived in the district and my parents bought a home in the western district when i was 11 years old. we weren't immune to what was happening. i can name several of my friends that i grew up with -- many friends i grew up with that went through the prison industrial complex and got caught up on the war of drugs whether they were using them or selling them. from the time i was maybe about 20 years old, i can recall or a bit younger, recall men who died as a result of that. >> a lot of the documentary has to do with issues of race and class and subjects that a lot of people don't like to discuss in
polite company, but integral to understanding the war of drugs and the history behind it and the current predicamenpredicame. >> the numbers don't lie. the fact that so many african-americans are incarcerated, it has to be something beyond the fact that we represent 12% of the population and we represent 50% of the prison population. it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know something is wrong. we know in african-american communities or communities where people migrated from the south and came to urban cities and got jobs and good paying jobs and low-skill jobs and those jobs are finally outsourced to somewhere where the labor was cheaper. that is the reality that no one talks about. we don't even talk about the deindustrialization. the fact that at the end of
world war ii, we had a population, a union population, that represented more than 40% of the workers were in unions. now we're down to something about 11%. we never discussed the situation. if you are talking about race/class within that context, you have a different picture of what the situation is. >> i think it is also something people don't like to discuss. once you hear something like that, it is easy to say this is fascinating. i learned so much. what am i supposed to do about that? this is a gigantic problem. i came away from the documentary that i understood the problem in a new way, but more confounded in what to do about it. >> there are groups that are doing something about it. the sentencing projects and the lawyer groups. we understand what the issue is. we can do something in campaigning of the three strikes you're out or the death penalty.
all of these manifestations. mandatory minimums. all of the things that are happening, i think, around the country. beyond the documentary, it only gives us a sense or context to look at the situation and introduces us to the work that some people are doing around the country. >> to those who will look at this and say i can't believe that anyone would suggest that we would go soft on the war on drugs or we would retreat from the war on drugs and give up after 42 years, what would you say to that? >> the idea of the war on drugs is not a war on drugs. it's a war on people. the documentary allows you to identify real stories that happen. we have shown this documentary and real consequences that have happened as well. we have shown this documentary to high school students to the group in washington, d.c. when asked to raise their hands, how many of you know about the
experience within your own family or someone you knew, nearly the whole audience of black students raised their hand. these men and young men and women knew the story, but also knew that they were in harm's way and in danger by the same circumstances as well. you can put this in chicago and it resonates the same way. you can put it in new york, it resonates the same way. those communities that have been directly affected by the experience, they know the story. the beautiful thing about this, we have been able to do with a number of our documentaries is find the constituent audience. find that audience to directly identify with the story by their experience. so in this film, it validates an experience that often is left undealt with that becomes out of the political discord and it goes untold.
>> there are amazing story lines "the house i live in." i hope it prompts a good conversation. thanks for talking to us. >> all right. >> "the house i live in" airs nationally on pbs. it can be seen here on kqed monday april 8th at 10:00 p.m. that is all for tonight. i want to thank our guests for being with us. visit kqed.org/thisweek for archives of the show and subscribe to the news letter and share your thoughts. by the way, today was the giants home opener. we want to wish them another winning season. thanks for watching. good night.
hi, i'm leslie sbrocco. welcome to "check, please! bay area." the show where residents talk about their favorite restaurants. this week, production supervisor and food dude jeff kramer works on commercials, features, and tv shows. his mantra is hurry up and wait, so when it comes to the good food at his unusual venue, he doesn't mind waiting for what he calls a show-stopping meal. mike stephen works out any kinks in his restaurant. there are two ways to relax. on the table is the massage studio, we're at the table of his favorite spot. first, director of hr and new york transplant carroll wyatt left the